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Senior Correspondent

"Laughter is an instant vacation." Milton Berle

So, we're gearing up for a road trip to Memphis. We are looking forward to taking in a little blues and barbeque with our good friends, Barry & Eleanor, who happen to be family.

It's spring renewal time, and we're ready to unplug. If only it were that easy. I sometimes wish my mental operating system worked a little more like that of my computer. When things get all jammed up in my brain and I'm not sure what task to do next, it would be so cool to be able to re-boot or de-frag.

Some experts now suggest that the closest thing to rebooting the human brain is laughter. How can we possibly laugh when there are so many problems to solve, when we are surrounded by so many sad, serious and stressful circumstances?  Where is the humor in all that? How do we learn to stop taking ourselves and others so darned seriously?

When I was a kid, I frequently played a game with my brothers and cousins we called "Make Me Laugh." We locked ourselves in a room and took turns cracking each other up. No parents allowed. These silly sessions would go on for hours. We would try out new material on one another, and refine tested material that was sure to draw wild, raucous laughter. In between, we were on the lookout for funny stuff that we could use to make each other laugh."Make Me Laugh" tuned us in to the funnier side of life on a daily basis. Eventually we grew up, moved on, and forgot all of this silliness.

But who knew about all the benefits of laughter?   It turns out that laughter helps us in several ways:

Perhaps it's time to take laughter a little more seriously. Do we have to learn to laugh? Should we take a laughing class? Does practicing laughter make us better at it?

In addition to packing a couple of funny DVD's for our trip, we will engage in a little roll throwing at Lambert's Café along the way. Located smack in between St. Louis, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee, people who visit Lambert's enjoy hearty down home meals with all the trimmings and all the home made rolls they can catch.www.throwedrolls.com Most everyone is laughing out loud at Lambert's.

"Laughter is inner jogging."Norman Cousins

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